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Wikitwonks is still at it

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exnihilo
918324.  Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:41 pm Reply with quote

So he either has to stop being such an ass or live there until he dies. Does Ecuador really want to go down that road?

 
CB27
918329.  Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:04 pm Reply with quote

As I understand it, the bail is only non refundable if he fails to appear in court, so there's a chance all the sheep will get their money back (if they keep faith that their Messiah will do the right thing).

What I find interesting is how Ecuador can legally grant him political asylum because the charges against him are with regard to sexual assault and surely this is illegal in Ecuador as well?

The world continues to revolve around Pissange...

 
suze
918331.  Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:11 pm Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
Does Ecuador really want to go down that road?


No, I'm sure it doesn't. Neither does either Britain or Ecuador want the matter to drag on as long as the Pinochet thing did.

In practice, if Ecuador is serious and grants him asylum or even citizenship, I suspect that there will be a reluctant compromise and he'll be permitted to travel to Ecuador via a third country (probably Spain). This will not be announced until after it has happened, just in case the USA gets any daft ideas about kidnapping him.

Mr Cameron will wring his hands a bit and allow the usual suspects within his party to blame the EU. Sweden will wring its hands a bit, and the usual suspects there will blame Britain. The USA will express shock and outrage, and then hush up when it realizes that no one in Europe actually cares that it's shocked and outraged. And Jemima Khan won't get her money back.

 
suze
918333.  Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:22 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
What I find interesting is how Ecuador can legally grant him political asylum because the charges against him are with regard to sexual assault and surely this is illegal in Ecuador as well?


That does not prevent it from granting him asylum or citizenship if it so chooses.

The late Bobby Fischer was granted Icelandic citizenship while detained in Japan awaiting extradition to the USA. He was in Japan on the run, since there was a warrant for his arrest in the USA, and the actual reason for his arrest in Japan was suspected passport fraud. I'm sure that's just as illegal in Iceland as it is everywhere else.

 
Neotenic
918386.  Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:32 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Mr Cameron will wring his hands a bit and allow the usual suspects within his party to blame the EU. Sweden will wring its hands a bit, and the usual suspects there will blame Britain. The USA will express shock and outrage, and then hush up when it realizes that no one in Europe actually cares that it's shocked and outraged. And Jemima Khan won't get her money back.


However, for all the rhetoric, Ecuador still has certain trade agreements with the US - so if they were pissed off by any arrangements, its not just in Europe they could be felt.

But, nevertheless, I am not at all convinced that the US has much appetite to apprehend and detain Assange anyway. And it would appear that the Supreme Court are of a similar view in they rejected his appeal on the grounds of this risk as being 'without merit'.

I think it could well be the case that they feel they have their man in Bradley Manning - he was, after all, the person who is strongly suspected of actively removing the information from the secured environment and releasing it into the wild. Assange, for all his grand posturing, is little more than a middle-man in the process.

 
exnihilo
932714.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:22 am Reply with quote

This has taken another turn with the UK Government apparently writing to Ecuador threatening to "storm" the Embassy and remove Assange. With their reply it becomes harder to see how they can hand him back and keep face with their own people. As he can't leave the building they are surely backing themselves into a corner where he lives in there forever unless they close the embassy, we seize him, they make appropriate noises of protest and then quietly, when it all dies down, they reopen it.

 
Moosh
932734.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:12 am Reply with quote

The idea of British police "storming" the embassy is a bit strong, when what they actually said was that the government could revoke the building's diplomatic status (using the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987) and then police could legally enter and arrest Assange. No SAS crashing in through windows or anything.

However, the provision for using this act is based on the idea that the premises are not being properly used as an embassy. The government suggests that harbouring Mr Assange counts as such. But it's not so clear that this is true, and the Ecuadorians could take them to the High Court for several months of expensive litigation over that point, should the British government actually try to exercise this power.

 
Neotenic
932738.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:19 am Reply with quote

This whole thing is turning into something of a wet dream for conspiracy enthusiasts - and certainly people who don't need much to convince them that The Great Satan is out to get poor little Julian.

The thing I find astonishing is that he continues to frame this as a situation that has been imposed on him, rather than one entirely of his own making.

Repeatedly, he has referred to his situation as having been 'detained for more than 500 days without charge' - but the only reason that it has gone on this long is because of his dogged refusal to accept the ruling of every circuit of court in our legal system, and when the many cycles of appeal were finally exhausted, he ran for the embassy instead. And, of course, the only reason there have been no charges is his refusal to participate in the investigation in a manner where any evidence gathered would be admissible in court - either, it should be stressed, to prove his guilt or his innocence.

I note that the main source of the claims that the US are building a clandestine case against him - even that he has been 'secretly indicted' is his American legal team. And of course, they have absolutely no financial interest in maintaining that belief.

And, for the case for some kind of shadowy moves against him to make any sense, we have to accept that there is something institutionally corrupt about the legal system of Sweden. Hello?

I also like the fact that some quarters are now trying to frame this as a potential 'international incident' - but, again, the only thing that makes it that has been Julian bravely running away - first to Stockholm airport, then to a Norfolk mansion (oh, the hardship), then to an embassy.

The sad thing is that his absolute dogged belief that his actions somehow mean that he can now exist on an entirely extra-legal plain, and he does not even need to submit to investigation of allegations entirely unconnected to his Wikileaks activity, is that he is critically undermining the credibility of the entire venture. Which is sad, because without the soap-opera-meets-spy-thriller histrionics, they would be providing a valuable and useful service.

 
barbados
932759.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:33 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:


However, the provision for using this act is based on the idea that the premises are not being properly used as an embassy. The government suggests that harbouring Mr Assange counts as such. But it's not so clear that this is true, and the Ecuadorians could take them to the High Court for several months of expensive litigation over that point, should the British government actually try to exercise this power.


Easy way round that would be for the British to go through the proccess of revoling the embassy. That gets allowed, and the Brits enter as the Ecuadorians appeal. Appeal is heard a couple of hours later after Assange is in custody and is upheld, everything back to normal.

Or perhaps I've been watching too much L A Law?

 
exnihilo
932792.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:44 am Reply with quote

Well, he's been granted asylum. What absolutely staggers me about this situation is the number of people who seem to have convinced themselves he's in there to stop our poodle government from handing him over to the Great Satan - because obviously Washington is pulling all the strings. It's almost as though they don't know what the actual situation is. Or don't want to know because it doesn't fit with with their pinheaded preconceptions of who are the goodies and who are the baddies.

 
suze
932803.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:51 am Reply with quote

We must remember here that the government of Ecuador pretty much does see the USA as "the Great Satan".

Ecuador's government is Bolivarian. That term will be unfamiliar to some, but Bolivarianism is a political philosophy in South America which draws from Simón Bolívar's ideas about South American self-determination and also from classical socialism. As such, Ecuador's major allies are countries such as Cuba and Venezuela; it buys its arms and its power stations from Iran. (Incidentally, a number of the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean also identify with the philosophy and have joined the Alianza Bolivariana.)

I don't know that Ecuador has any particular brief for Mr Assange. But it very much does have a brief against the USA (partly because of recent US foreign policy, and partly because of that country's attitude to socialism) and against the former colonial powers of Europe. Indeed, one could argue that it's gone further even than Cuba has, insofar as it actually has turfed the Americans out of a hired airbase on Ecuadorean soil.


Some commentators are saying words to the effect of "So what if the UK has a diplomatic spat with Ecuador. Obscure South American country of no global significance." Even if we accept this as true, do we really want to run the risk of Iran getting involved? And wouldn't it be rather awkward if four Commonwealth nations were to recall their High Commissioners from London?

 
Jenny
932806.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:55 am Reply with quote

Well at least if the USA sends in the army, it won't have as far to go, and continuing use of troops may well have a positive effect on the jobs figures as it will prevent troops returning from Iraq being thrust onto the jobs market. There's always a silver lining.*

* Cynicism/irony alert.

 
CB27
932815.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:18 am Reply with quote

The self publicist gravy train of Julian Assange rolls on...

 
Neotenic
932818.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:22 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Or don't want to know because it doesn't fit with with their pinheaded preconceptions of who are the goodies and who are the baddies.


Quite.

One has to wonder how these people would have reacted if Gary Glitter had scuttled off to a friendly(ish) embassy once the police had confiscated his hard drive and refused to participate in the investigation.

 
barbados
932820.  Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:23 am Reply with quote

So all the police need to do now is sit on the entrance to the embassy and stop every vehicle as soon as it enters the public highway.

Assange is a wanted man in an EU member state, so the police have grounds to stop and search. He then gets extradited to Sweden, then the US without the need for a diplomatic incident

 

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